In the midst of the leaked draft opinion of Roe v. Wade Supreme Court, May 2 saw the return of the annual Met Gala, but the success of this year’s event is highly debated.
Often touted as the fashion world’s equivalent of the Oscars, the Met Gala is a fundraising event turned fashion show that takes place at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. This year’s Met Gala’s theme is “Gilded Glamor,” referring to America’s “Gilded Age” which saw the country’s industrial and economic growth, as well as a shift to grandeur fashion. The theme is also inspired by the Costume Institute’s “In America: An Anthology of Fashion” museum exhibition, which explores the changes in fashion throughout US history.
Despite being held annually in May, the Met Gala had to be canceled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, while the 2021 event was moved to September and required attendees to follow COVID-19 guidelines. While people hoping to attend will have to pay around $35,000 for tickets, others may be added to the list of invitees approved by Anna Wintour, editor-in-chief of Vogue magazine. Invited guests usually consist of well-known actors, musicians, athletes, politicians and social media influencers.
Serving as the Met Gala’s honorary co-chairs, Wintour worked alongside this year’s co-chairs Blake Lively, Ryan Reynolds, Regina King and Lin-Manuel Miranda to help visualize and organize this year’s event. Hosts of the Met Gala’s red carpet live streaming are celebrities Vanessa Hudgens, Lala Anthony and Hamish Bowles.
Several CSUN students and faculty in the fashion industry are anticipating the 2022 Met Gala. While some students enjoyed each celebrity’s interpretation of the “Gilded Glamor” theme, others were disappointed, as they felt that the theme was being ignored.
“I’m excited to see the Met Gala return given that it was canceled in 2020 and last year’s events were limited,” said Elvia Almanza, major in apparel design and merchandising, and vice president and creative director of TRENDS CSUN. “Even though the theme is ‘Gilded Glamor’, there are some mistakes and it doesn’t fit the theme. I liked a lot of the designs on display for the event, don’t get me wrong, but I feel that some designs would be better for other events.”
Other Met Gala viewers took to social media and expressed mixed reactions about how celebrities dressed, or didn’t dress, according to the gala theme.
Celebrities, such as Blake Lively and Laura Harrier, have been praised for having clothes that fit the “Gilded Glamor” theme. Genesis Suero, anchor for Telemundo, also received praise for her white gold ball gown. A Twitter user tweeted a picture of Lively, Suerro and Harrier outfits with the caption “The Holy Trinity of the year,” which eventually went viral on the platform.
While some received praise for their clothing choices, the Kardashian-Jenner sisters sparked a flurry of mixed reviews with their fashion statements on the red carpet. Slimming down 16 pounds to fit a Marilyn Monroe dress, Kim Kardashian left many people disappointed and worried about the message her behavior might give. Kardashian received backlash from critics such as Allure magazine, with the caption that her rapid weight loss was neither healthy nor admirable.
Laynee Delatorre, a fashion merchandising major, talks about who she loves to look at and is absolutely blown away by the Kardashian outfits.
“I’m so excited to see Blake Lively, Billie Eilish and Kim Kardashian, of course,” said Delatorre. “I think something really important and innovative in that night mode was Kim. She took that theme and really put on an archival outfit, a Marilyn Monroe dress. I think it was a very important moment in fashion.”
Other familiar faces, such as Lizzo and Riz Ahmed, are also known for their outfits. Many were pleased with Ahmed’s fashion choice, as it paid homage to “the immigrant workers who kept the Golden Age going,” according to Vanity Fair.
Among those who don’t have fan-favorite outfits are celebrities like Wintour and the Netflix “Bridgerton” cast, who have been criticized for skipping or ignoring the “Gilded Glamor” theme with their dresses.
Another concern viewers have about the Met Gala is the night’s absence. Celebrities such as Zendaya, Rihanna, Timothée Chalamet and Harry Styles did not appear this year. However, Rihanna was honored with a virtual statue in Vogue magazine’s 2022 Met Gala video.
While many were excited for the full return of the Met Gala, it generated a series of reactions that questioned whether this year’s event was a successful comeback from the COVID-19 pandemic or not.
“I just hope [at] Next met, there’s a little more effort to keep up with the theme [because it] that’s all I really care about,” said Kimberly Gomez, a theater major. “Since art and design are subjective, I’m simply asking people to stay true to the theme and the people invited are people who have made an impact on fashion and have enough passion to honor the event.”